“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
What a harsh way to start out a book–consider it pure joy when you face trials! Why should a hard trial or trouble bring you joy? Most people do not find any joy in troubles. Often people start blaming God for their problems; or they blame others; or sometimes blame themselves for a past sin and God is now punishing them for that sin with trouble. James, however, calls these trials or troubles a ‘testing of your faith’.
How is a trial a testing of your faith? When everything is going smooth and good it is very easy to forget God is in it or think you are someone better than you really are. You may lose your faith in God and put it in your own abilities. Trials are supposed to have you focus on God and trust Him to guide you through them. Are you remembering and trusting that God is in control and will take care of you?
The testing of your faith will then produce perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to keep going when things are rough. It strengthens a person for a longer time of work. The walk of a believer is stated as running a race and a battle. It takes a lot of endurance to finish a race or win a battle. Giving up a run or battle is easy when you get tired and have been at it for a long time with no end in sight. Being ready for either does not happen overnight it takes practice, working and training. In the walk with God this practice, work and training is found in trials and troubles. In this sense you are to count it as joy that God is putting you through a trial, because He sees you as getting ready for a greater work or a larger battle.
Today do not grumble about a hard time you are going through. Thank God for that trial. Ask God to show you how to grow through the trial. Use the trial for God’s glory. Trust God to bring you through the trial.
I pray that today God will strengthen you in your walk with Him; that God will help you find joy in the trials of life; that God will bring you through your trials shining brightly; and that God will greatly reward you for your troubles.